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The Way of the Warrior

Tom Shippey: Vikings

2 April 2014
Vikings: Life and Legend 
edited by Gareth Williams, Peter Pentz and Matthias Wernhoff.
British Museum, 288 pp., £25, February 2014, 978 0 7141 2337 0
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The Northmen’s Fury 
by Philip Parker.
Cape, 450 pp., £25, March 2014, 978 0 224 09080 3
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... work as the carpenter. The Vale of York hoard, which dates from the 920s, contains silver coins, a Frankish liturgical cup, arm rings and what’s called ‘hack silver’. Sunhild Kleingärtner and GarethWilliams carefully point out in the accompanying text that the hoard represents ‘long-distance trade … gift-giving and social exchange’, but it looks a lot like loot. Its owner never came back ...

Locum, Lacum, Lucum

Anthony Grafton: The Emperor of Things

13 September 2018
Pietro Bembo and the Intellectual Pleasures of a Renaissance Writer and Art Collector 
by Susan Nalezyty.
Yale, 277 pp., £50, May 2017, 978 0 300 21919 7
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Pietro Bembo on Etna: The Ascent of a Venetian Humanist 
by Gareth Williams.
Oxford, 440 pp., £46.49, August 2017, 978 0 19 027229 6
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... He collated it against a printed edition, which survives, and recorded ‘even its obvious errors’, since some of them might yield emendations. Pietro, Poliziano noted, helped him do this work. As GarethWilliams shows, Pietro also made a collation of his own, in some respects more detailed than the master’s, parts of which he would eventually publish. That Bembo wrote what his contemporaries ...

Beyond Discussion

Neal Ascherson

3 April 1980
The Last Word: An Eye-Witness Account of the Thorpe Trial 
by Auberon Waugh.
Joseph, 240 pp., £6.50, February 1980, 0 7181 1799 9
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... grander than a snob. He may not believe in equality, but he certainly does believe that inequality instantly loses its justification when it is abused. One of his few heroes in the trial is Mr GarethWilliams, counsel for Deakin, because (in spite of his ‘mean, Welsh, insinuating manner’) he had the courage to break the defence ranks. He pointed out that his client, unlike Mr Thorpe, had left ...

German Jew

Michael Irwin

17 April 1980
The Missing Years 
by Walter Laqueur.
Weidenfeld, 281 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 297 77707 6
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Jack be nimble 
by Nigel Williams.
Secker, 213 pp., £5.50, March 1980, 0 436 57155 2
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Identity Papers 
by Anthony Cronin.
Co-op Books, 194 pp., £4.50, February 1980, 0 905441 23 0
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Narrow Rooms 
by James Purdy.
Black Sheep Books, 185 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 906538 60 2
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Six Moral Tales 
by Eric Rohmer, translated by Sabine d’Estrée.
Lorrimer, 252 pp., £4.95, February 1980, 0 85647 075 9
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... something of the density and verisimilitude of that work. But Defoe’s handling of anecdote and descriptive detail agitates the imagination as Dr Lasson’s rather flat story-telling does not. Nigel Williams, who won the Somerset Maugham Award for Fiction in 1978, has produced a second novel, which shows plenty of talent but is rather a mess. Its hero, Jack Warliss, a writer of sorts, invents a series of ...

Making It Up

Raphael Samuel

4 July 1996
Raymond Williams 
by Fred Inglis.
Routledge, 333 pp., £19.99, October 1995, 0 415 08960 3
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... This biography opens with a vivid chapter on Raymond Williams’s funeral. Entitled ‘Prologue, in Memoriam’, it transports the reader to Clodock Church, ‘a plain little building’ in the foothills of the Black Mountains. It is a comfortless day, Fred ...

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